PUNCKNOWLE Pronounced ‘Punnle’, a handsome village with lots of stone cottages and farm buildings, and trees in the middle. A ridge of scrubby downland topped by the Knoll shelters one side of the village from the sea. On the other side is the Bride Valley.

Norman font, Puncknownle Church.The church of St Mark feels ancient, although only the tower arch and tiny chancel arch remain from the Norman church. The rest is mostly later 19th century. Robert Napier who lived in the Manor House paid for the rebuilding of the tower (dated 1678 on the arch and with RN in nails on the door) and perhaps also for the nice wooden font cover. Good 17th century monuments, one with Greek. The 12th century font sits on another of the same date. Interesting 1960’s iron screen. In the churchyard is a fine 15th century cross which originally stood in the village.

Behind the church is the manor house, partly 19th century but the front wing of 1650 with a lovely porch. Round headed windows and door. Henry Shrapnell (1761-1842) who invented the shell lived here for a short while, and his friend William Barnes, the Dorset poet, visited him and helped with the mathematical calculations. Between Puncknowle and Litton Cheney the road runs right through the farmyard of Looke, with its handsome farmhouse with a chimney in each corner, dated 1700.

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